It is very early for us, but we have had some ripe strawberries already. This is about 3 weeks sooner than any other year.
This is the same patch where I placed some decoy rocks painted to look like strawberries in order to fool the birds from pecking at the fruit. I had placed the rocks throughout the patch more than a month ago just as the plants were starting to bloom.
Those painted rocks had fooled me several times as I walked by the patch. There were several times when had to take a second look after something red caught my eye. Up until now, only the red rocks were ripe.
The handful of berries that we harvested so far did not have a single peck mark from the birds, so apparently the decoys have been working. Now I am worried that I may have to start painting marbles as decoys for the blueberry patch.
My DIY project to save my strawberry crop is complete. The rocks that I had gathered had been painted red and set overnight. When I had a little time, I painted light green at the top of the rocks. A few days later, I added black dots (fingernail polish) to simulate the seeds of the berries. Then I added darker green at the tops and outlined the leaves.
I finished the decoy berries off with a clear spray seal.
I think they turned out o.k. in an artsy-fartsy kind of way. I am hoping that the birds are cross-eyed or just plain stupid for the decoy berries to work their magic and turn the birds off the fruit altogether.
When I was describing my plan to a group of friends, one kind-hearted soul asked a question. She said, “Won’t the decoys just attract more birds?”
We shall see, grasshopper, we shall see!
The strawberries are blooming!That is a sure sign of spring. I have also noticed that the birds have started swooping around the plants with hopes of a berry or two.
I have been working on the decoy berries and will be giving you the full details of the process. I plan on ‘planting’ the decoys in the next few days.
In the meantime, my right hand helper took a look at my work in progress and remarked that they may look a bit like strawberries but also looked like eggplants. I think that my work in progress needs a little more touch-up.
Stormy, Topper and Shiro, the newest additions to the herd, have been exploring. Each day they get more brave and spend more time as a trio and less time tucked next to their mothers. Continue reading
The mud swallows have returned in force to the farm. While these critters are a nuisance round the house, I encourage them to build lots of nests around the barns. Watching them swoop and scoop little droplets of mud and build their structures one drop at a time is better than people watching.
The cats get a little upset when a stroll through the pasture has kamikaze dive-bombers launching aerial attacks. The open grass land offers little protection from the swoops.